Minutes from the TriTrog General Meeting January 2008

John Plyler presided over the meeting and apologized for his triple email reminding the listserve of the meeting. The meeting began with Introductions from John Plyler, Mark Little, Ken Walsh, Matthew Lubin, Andrew Donadio, Randy Bernstein (Venture Crew 888), Michael Harrington, Aaron Bernstein, Matt Westlake, Dave Duguid, Melanie McCullough, and Jennifer Bonacci. John reminded members to pay dues to Mark before the elections began. Mark gave the Annual Treasurers Report and mentioned that the income came mostly from dues and the grotto had only minor expenses. We donated approximately $400 to cave conservancies, and Mark explained that cave conservancies serve to protect caves from development and keep them open to cavers. Ken has to submit the Annual Report this month to the NSS. He thought that he’d need to submit more information about the outreach and conservation efforts, but the NSS no longer asks for that information. John thanked Mark and Rhonda Little for hosting the holiday party this year. If anyone is interested in developing a grotto patch, Ken can put them in touch with the person offering some good deals. Ken mentioned that the 2005 Speleodigest will publish two maps and a cover photograph from the 2005 Troglodyte Tribune, as well as our logo. Wiley Elementary School has invited the TriTrogs back again for their annual Science Night on March 13. Dave Duguid and Ken were tossing around ideas, and they may have a good place to rig a cable ladder. Steve Simmons indicated that he’d be willing to bring the squeezebox and/or the V-squeezebox if someone helps him. John Plyler suggested that prussik knots could teach the kids, but others thought that might be too much work. Andrew Donadio said that he’d be willing to come out to help, and John Plyler volunteered his big outdoor lights if we needed them. When we moved to Trip Reports, Dave Duguid began by describing the small project of Rowland Springs Cave that he started a year and a half ago. The surveyed cave now exceeds a half mile. On this particular trip the first weekend in January, the cave had a lot of air movement, and the crawl below the bottom entrance was frozen. The stream was two feet deep and very cold. We did mop up survey. Mike climbed across with a belay that could have been a ten-foot drop. Ken sent Lisa into a narrow crack where she couldn’t quite fit. We ventured back out through the water, but Dave managed to keep his feet dry. Sunday morning we went to Hancock Cave’s back entrance and surveyed into the cave. We ended up just fifteen feet from the known surveyed cave inside, but a mud plug blocked us. It was cold and rainy that day. Randy asked where cave maps ends up, and long-time grotto members answered that they go to the NSS, the regional cave surveys, the US Geological Survey, and publications for cavers. We next went into a discussion about what people should wear underground. Thoughts included helmet, three light sources, a pack, water, food, warm clothes, kneepads, and shoes with tread. John then listed the upcoming trips: February 2- Birmingham Grotto’s cleanup of Graves Cave February 2- Horizontal sport trip for newer people in the grotto February 12- Second Tuesday lunch February 23 – Cave photography trip Looking for a volunteer to coordinate a Spring/Summer Hancock Cave cleanup trip (we should invite Birmingham Grotto) March 28-30 –Hillsborough Venture Crew 888 is looking for help leading 15-20 people caving NSS Convention –Aug 11-15 Lake City, Florida 8.5 hours away. Jun 5-8 SERA/VAR in Bristol, Tennessee We took a short break while everyone introduced themselves and signed up for trips. Elections went quickly, and the slate was accepted by acclimation: Chair – Dave Duguid Vice Chair – Matt Westlake Secretary – Ken Walsh Treasurer – Mark Little Editor – Mike Broome John concluded the meeting by asking people to recall things they carry underground that have been very useful on occasion. John described his flagging tape, Mark his biner and webbing, Ken his shoestring around his neck and the nylon webbing bag use to hold a boot together, Melanie her yoga mat to make kneepads for her suit, John his Zippo lighter that works after being underwater, and Matt recalled Bob Alderson’s rock hammer to make steps in the mud.